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Saturday, July 3, 2010

CLOVES

The word clove, comes from the Latin, clavus, meaning nail, and this is an apt description of the clove. It is the dried flower bud from the clove tree, which is indigenous to the Malaccan Islands, and it has much the same history as the nutmeg and mace.It is in the Carophyllaceae family of plants making it a relative of carnations, soapwort and the soapnut or reetha.
 It has been around for a long time, and we know that it was used in Syria around 1721 BC as archaeologists found a ceramic pot dating from that time, with cloves in it. We also know that it was prized by the Romans, as Pliny carped about its expense – he was somewhat niggardly and miserly, I fear! In 226 BC the Chinese used to chew them to have sweet breath during an audience with the emperor.
It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic qualities and it’s a natural anaesthetic, which is why it is still used to cure toothache (at least temporarily). It is good for the digestion and the metabolism, in this modern medical practitioners agree with their predecessors of the ancient world.
If you mix freshly ground cloves in hot or warm milk, and add a little sea salt and drink the mixture, it can relieve a headache.
In the 17th century in England an orange or lemon was studded with cloves as a pomander, to mask unpleasant odours. You can do this too, as they make good decorative table pieces or you can hang them with clothes in a wardrobe.
You can also use cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg to make mulled red wine in winter.



BONG PASANDA
Ingredients
500 beef in one piece, (brisket would be good)
250 gr yoghurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves of garlic
8 cloves
8 black peppercorns
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup oil
½ handful fresh mint leaves, shredded
salt to taste


Method
Pour 2 glasses of water into a pan with the meat, garlic cloves and salt and cover it. Cook over a medium heat bring to the boil and simmer until the water has evaporated.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the meat on all sides to seal it. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the meat and cut it into slices.
Put the yoghurt into a bowl and mix in the turmeric, cumin seeds, salt and pepper and pour this mixture into the oil in the frying pan. Cook until it boils, stirring well and pour it over the sliced meat.
Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

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